|Farm Store sign hidden in plain view|
The thing I hated about NaBloWriMo was posting everyday. It took effort. And it seemed to be too much posting. Was it too much? The thing I loved about NaBloWriMo was posting everyday and it kept me on task and kept you all up to date on crucial items here on South Pork Ranch. It wasn't too much was it?
Case in point. I blogged on Sunday. I meant to blog on Monday and Tuesday but here it is Wed and finally I am blogging. Was I missed? Did you care?
Lets move on. The ads we posted in the Pantagraph (started 11 days ago) and in The Kankakee Leader (started 7 days ago) have proven beneficial. From the Pantagraph we have gotten, as of today, 6 new meat customers, 3 of which bought large carcasses, and 4 new raw milk customers.
|The Self Serve Dairy Barn.|
But the Bat Line to all government offices stayed quiet, until two days ago. I was sitting at my desk minding my own business (I can't mind everyones business all the time. Even I need a break) when the phone rang ominously. (For those of you who don't know, an "ominous ring" causes the temperature in the room to drop by 20 degrees and the phone itself to turn black) I looked at the caller ID. It said, and I quote, "blocked call."
Only salesmen, unpopular in-laws, the IRS and well, any government office will show up as "blocked call." We listened to the message. A gentleman from the Illinois Department of Public Health said "I need to talk to you about your operation."
Yeah, me too, I was sure he wanted to buy some of my all natural soap for his mama for Christmas. So I returned his call.
That's not what he wanted.
He wanted to talk about our store. See, many months ago I applied for a retail store permit from IDPH. I paid the $100 fee. I got back letters that were just goofy about how we needed to have plumbing in the store and a concrete pad under the dumpster. I called IDPH's office and asked for clarification and still I got pure goofiness, so we decided not to pursue the permit in light of the Farmers Market Act that said we had the right to sell our produce without paying for permits.
He put a end to our little tete a' tete telling me that if we did not have the store inspected he would seek a judge who would send us a court order to "cease and desist." any farm store sales and I told him I'd give him my decision in 48 hrs. Keith and I talked for about 5 minutes and decided THIS battle was not one we were going to fight since we had an approaching raw milk battle coming up, we were running short on swords and shields and besides they still had my check for $100. I called Mr. IDPH back and told him he was more than welcome to come inspect our store.
There was a odd noise. I think he swallowed his tongue.
He came yesterday. He looked around, he opened drawers, he checked freezers, he punched a few frozen meat packages. He ignored the raw milk sign on the wall and then he...he...
pronounced our Farm Store "Awesome." One of the best little country stores he had ever seen and he printed out our retail store permit on his handy dandy portable printer which I paid for with last years taxes.
When he had packed up all his do-dads, he turned to me and said "Are you still selling raw milk?"
Suddenly the sky turned deep purple and the earth rumbled beneath my feet. I said "we sure are, its legal to sell it you know."
"Oh yeah, I know, but you can't tell me its really better for you." I told him why I thought it was indeed better than pasteurized milk and then he left. But he didn't buy a single thing. Can you believe it ?!?!